QUICK SERVICE RESTAURANT CHAIN DEPLOYS NETWORK FAILOVER, “FOUR-NINES” RELIABILITY, & DEVICE MANAGEMENT
This global corporation of quick service restaurants has about 17,500 locations serving millions of customers each day with concepts including popular pizza, chicken, and Tex-Mex chains. Most of the restaurants are on a wired network with Cisco routers, the main function of which is to process credit card purchases. With so many transactions taking place every day, the corporation decided to invest in a wireless failover system to guarantee uninterrupted connection. After careful consideration, the corporation chose Cradlepoint to provide “four-nines” (99.99% or better) connectivity via 3G/4G/LTE or wireless backup.
“Terrestrial network outages are going to happen — and they can happen at the least opportune moments,” says the organization’s manager of IT infrastructure. “Network outages can delay credit card transactions. That’s a big deal for us. If one of our restaurant’s drive-thru has 15 cars in it and it takes an additional 30 seconds to process each order, you can see the impact on customer service. Cradlepoint makes sure we have virtually uninterrupted network connectivity.”
This corporation is the world’s largest quick service organization in terms of system units, with more than 39,000 restaurants in more than 125 countries and territories and 1.4 million associates. The company is among the Fortune 500 List and generated more than $13 billion in revenue in 2012.
Being dedicated to delivering good food quickly means having bullet-proof network connectivity no matter where a restaurant is located and how it gets online. It also means planning for the future. In fact, the company is building its “future store network” with an eye toward technology changes to come. Among the most promising changes are in the areas of 4G-supported, customer-facing applications like the Point-of-Sale system and guest WiFi networks.
“Our immediate goal in choosing a backup system was to support 3G. But 4G LTE is growing so quickly, and has the capability to support a whole new generation of guest services. Once we understood how well Cradlepoint supports 4G, it was the obvious choice.”
The company rolled out Cradlepoint to thousands of quick service restaurants across the U.S., a process it expects to complete in the next few years. The Cradlepoint solution makes sense because each device can be pre-configured to deliver “four-nines” failover using whatever local Internet connection is available. At a corporate level, the company relies on Cradlepoint’s NetCloud Manager Management and application platform to centrally deploy, group, configure and manage the Cradlepoint devices at its thousands of restaurants for enhanced network intelligence, reliability, and to maintain PCI compliance. Overall, the company sees in Cradlepoint a technology partner that can help it deliver increasingly more efficient and profitable results while ensuring the best customer service.
Flexibility: Cradlepoint networking solutions are designed to support more than 70 different carriers. So whether one of the company’s restaurants is located in the heart of a major metropolitan area or on the outskirts of a small town, the Cradlepoint networking solution can be configured for failover by taking advantage of whichever wireless connections are available.
The company could have chosen to obtain failover support using whatever company was providing its terrestrial solutions. But its IT manager notes that if a location has trouble with its service provider, then both its primary and secondary network connectivity would be affected.
“Having these options for how our backup system runs means we don’t have to be locked into a single mobile broadband provider or a single unit that can be expensive to replace. Having this freedom of choice is another reason we chose Cradlepoint.”
Positive Perception: The company operates primarily as a franchise business. As such, it believes that it’s in its best interest to not dictate how its store operators go about selling its menu to customers. Instead, its goal is to provide choices. And it sees Cradlepoint as an easy-to-implement, cost-efficient way to give its store operators latitude in how they choose to get and stay online.
Reliability: When a construction crew digs up the T1 line, a storm takes out the wired Internet, or the local Internet provider has an interruption in service, the company’s restaurants can continue to do business, thanks to Cradlepoint’s automatic failover system. And the individual components of the system are just as reliable.
“Cradlepoint is doing the right things to ensure that anything we plug into its routers from an Ethernet to a SIM card is going to work,” noted the IT manager. “I don’t think that it’s quite the same story with other players.”
Cradlepoint has worked for years with the major wireless network providers. It understands these providers’ systems and has the personal relationships and the technology to quickly leverage them. Cradlepoint also has the internal expertise to keep its solutions up and running, and to work with the providers and customers together to plan for future needs.
“Cradlepoint’s client support has been phenomenal. The technical support is topnotch. Plus we feel like they’re making strides to develop new products that could present new opportunities to service our customers in more innovative ways. We have a strong working relationship with Cradlepoint, one that I’m sure will continue for many, many years.”